Once upon a time, there lived a poor and lonely woodcutter named Geppetto. One day Geppetto found a fine log of wood and he decided to make a puppet to keep him company. He carved a little boy out of the wood and called him Pinocchio.
Geppetto loved Pinocchio as much as if he were a real child. He wanted to send Pinocchio to school and bring him up properly. But Pinocchio started as a naughty little puppet. The first thing he did, as soon as he learned how to walk on his wooden legs, was to run away.
Geppetto set out to look for Pinocchio, but he could not find him. Meanwhile, a policeman caught Pinocchio by his nose, but he wriggled away and ran back home. There was no one at home because Geppetto was still out looking for him. Suddenly a voice cried,
“Who said that?” asked Pinocchio in a frightened voice.
“I did!” said the Talking Cricket, crawling slowly up the wall. “Shame on boys who run away from home! You should go to school, or you will grow up to be a donkey.”
“Go Away,” Shouted Pinocchio.
The Cricket stepped through the window and was gone.
Pinocchio was hungry, for he had not eaten anything all day. He went about the room pulling out drawers, looking for something to eat. He saw something in a corner and picked it up. It was an egg.
“Now I shall have something to eat,” he said.
But when he broke the eggshell, a little chicken popped out.
“Thank you, master Pinocchio,” it said politely. “You have saved me the trouble of breaking my shell. Good-By!” and the chicken flew away.
Pinocchio began to cry.
“Oh dear,” he said, “If only I had been good and not run away!” My dear papa would be here now with something for me to eat.”
He sat down in front of the fireplace and stretched out his legs to warm them. He fell fast asleep and when he woke up his wooden feet were burned off.
Oh, how Pinocchio cried! Just then Geppetto came back. He was overjoyed to see his little boy again and kissed him.
“I can make your new feet,” he said. “but then you would run away again!”
“No, I won’t,” Pinocchio promised. “I’ll be good and go to school.”
So Geppetto took his tools and made two nice new feet for Pinocchio. Then he made some clothes for him.
But there was no money for a school book for Pinocchio. So Geppetto went out and sold his overcoat to buy a schoolbook. Pinocchio kissed his dear father and started off to school. He meant to be good.
But, alas, on the way to school, Pinocchio passed a big tent. There was a puppet show going on inside. Pinocchio sold his school book to a peddler for a ticket to the show. And in he went.
A showman called Fire Eater saw Pinocchio. He said,
“Bring that puppet here. He is made of fine dry wood and will make a good blaze for my roast.”
The cook brought Pinocchio, who was wriggling and screaming.
When Fire Eater saw Pinocchio cry, he felt sorry for him. Pinocchio told him all his troubles and how poor Geppetto had sold his overcoat to buy him a schoolbook.
Fire Eater said “Here are five gold pieces. Buy your father a new overcoat, and yourself a new schoolbook.”
Pinocchio started down the road towards home. He jingled the five gold pieces in his pocket. But also he met with some bad companions on the way. He stopped to talk to two beggars, a Fox and a Cat.
“Look! I am rich!” said Pinocchio, pulling the five gold pieces out of his pocket.
The Fox and the Cat opened their eyes.
“What will you do with all that money?” they asked.
“I am going to buy my father a new overcoat and myself a schoolbook.”
“It’s silly to go to school,” said the Fox. “You must be hungry. why don’t you have dinner with us at the inn?”
“Cri-Cri-Cri!” said a small voice nearby among the weeds. “Don’t listen to bad companions!”
Pinocchio knew it was the voice of the Talking Cricket. But he did not want to listen. Instead, he went with the Fox and the Cat.
The Fox had rabbit stew, the Cat had fried fish and Pinocchio had spaghetti. But Pinocchio fell asleep with his plate of spaghetti half-eaten. When he woke up, the Fox and Cat were gone. He had to pay a gold coin to the innkeeper for their dinners.
“Anyway, I have the other four gold coins,” said Pinocchio to himself.
It was past midnight when Pinocchio left the inn. As he walked along the dark road he heard the sound of running feet behind him. In the moonlight, Pinocchio saw two creatures dressed in black running after him.
They wore black sacks which covered them all over. Only their eyes gleamed through holes cut in the sacks. They were the Fox and Cat in disguise. “Give us your money!” they hissed.
But Pinocchio ran and ran. He jumped across a little brook. The Fox and Cat could not jump because they were tied up in their sacks. So they landed splash! right in the middle of the brook.
Soon it was morning. As Pinocchio ran through the woods, he saw a little white house. A lovely Fairy with gold hair was sitting in the window.
She let him in and asked.
“What seems to be the trouble?”
Pinocchio told the Fairy everything that had happened since he had left home to go to school.
“Where are the rest of the gold coins?” she asked.
Pinocchio had the gold coins in his pocket. But he lied to the Fairy.
“I-I lost them,” he said.
As soon as he said this, his nose began to grow longer.
“Where did you lose the gold coins?” asked the Fairy.
“In the forest,” lied Pinocchio. At this second lie, his nose grew even longer.
“Then we will go find them,” said the fairy.
“No,” said Pinocchio quickly. “I-I swallowed them.”
At this third lie, his nose grew so long that it reached clear across the room and out of the window. Pinocchio could not go through the door with it.
The Fairy watched while Pinocchio tried to move this way and that with his long nose. Then, feeling that he had been punished enough for telling lies, she called to a great flock of woodpeckers.
The birds came in. They perched on his nose and began, “Peck, peck, peck!” At last Pinocchio’s nose was down to its right size.
“Now,” said the Fairy, “if you promise to be a good boy all the time, you may have one wish.”
“I wish to be a real boy,” cried Pinocchio.
“You will have your wish presently,” said the Fairy.
“What a good Fairy you are!” said Pinocchio. “Now I must go home to my father, Geppetto.”
“Go, then and be a good boy, and never lie again. Each time you tell a lie your nose will grow longer,” said the Fairy, as she kissed him goodbye.
Pinocchio ran home to Geppetto, who was overjoyed to see him. When Pinocchio awoke the next morning, he found that he was no longer a puppet but a real boy.
“How silly and naughty I was when I was a puppet! How glad I am that now I am a well-behaved boy,” he said.
From that day on Pinocchio and Geppetto lived happily ever after.